FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan says last week's embarrassing loss at Carolina got his players' attention.
In a meeting with his players earlier this week, Nolan began the session with encouragement, pointing out all that's gone right for a defense that ranks fifth in scoring average.
It didn't take long, though, for Nolan to remind the Falcons that poor tackling technique and missed assignments were a big reason Carolina scored 30 points and piled up 195 yards rushing.
Atlanta's defense struggled on third down all afternoon - a problem that must be corrected before the Falcons (11-2) host the New York Giants (8-5) on Sunday.
Nolan is concerned that his defense cannot afford to be lax in any area with Atlanta headed to the playoffs next month.